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The uncertainty principle

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NevadaDave
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re: The uncertainty principle
NevadaDave   3/24/2011 6:25:59 PM
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Please forgive the following snide comment: "What? Are there known unknowns?" OK, I'm over it! Seriously - my experience has been that understanding basic concepts and seeing those concepts in action, or better yet, working with them in a "real world" manner will probably be of greatest benefit. Theoretical exercises certainly can work to demonstrate the fundamental concepts, but the real world is full of nth-order effects and dependencies that often seem to contradict theory, because the theoretical model is incomplete or incorrect. Read National Semi guru Bob Pease's work if you want to know how often theory (specifically SPICE models and simulation) do not match real world fact.

kdboyce
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re: The uncertainty principle
kdboyce   3/25/2011 6:09:57 AM
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Models are just that - models. It is kind of like going into war battles per the model(s) on the planning room table, and wondering why it didn't actually work out the way it was planned. Not only is the real world different than models, real people in real time/world situations don't give a damn about a model when reality is staring them in the face.

Brian Fuller2
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re: The uncertainty principle
Brian Fuller2   3/25/2011 4:31:49 PM
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I should have mentioned that story that emerged this week as part of the BP oil-leak investigation. The well apparently has a device whose sole purpose is to clamp the pipe shut in case of an emergency. The explosion shifted the pipe slightly so that the two opposing parts of the clamp couldn't form a tight fit. You'd think they would have factored in potential misalignment of the pipe in an explosion, but maybe not. To KD's point, models are models. And I supposed if we could factor in all the potential outcomes, we'd never move forward for fear of catastophe.

David Ashton
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re: The uncertainty principle
David Ashton   3/25/2011 10:17:29 PM
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The moral of the story being that in the case of oil wells that can pump the sea full of oil, or nuclear reactors that can pump the atmosphere full of radioactivity, a backup system is not enough. You have to have backups of backups. And that's where we always seem to go wrong.

WKetel
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re: The uncertainty principle
WKetel   3/26/2011 1:50:43 PM
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To paraphrase Bob Pease, the results can never be more accurate than the model used. An incomplete model can produce very pretty results that are very wrong, although they may appear to be correct over some small range. With the failed blowout preventer on the oil well, the device is supposed to be locked onto the well so that no shift is possible. As for taking control of the big screen, would you want that capability to fall into the hands of those internet folks trying to sell us viagra? Just think about that "unintended consequence."

Silicon_Smith
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re: The uncertainty principle
Silicon_Smith   3/26/2011 8:15:16 PM
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I just checked out the 'Aerostatic Flutter' link. Cool stuff! Though the solution that was presented seemed too simplistic for all the aeronautical engineers to have not considered as yet. I would love to hear what NASA had to say about their models.

Luis Sanchez
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re: The uncertainty principle
Luis Sanchez   3/26/2011 8:43:50 PM
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ja ja... back up of back ups! that's a good one :) Sounds like a never ending pursue of perfection.

David Ashton
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re: The uncertainty principle
David Ashton   3/26/2011 11:08:59 PM
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Well, you get to the point of diminishing returns, but in both cases the backup systems were not enough, were they?

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: The uncertainty principle
prabhakar_deosthali   3/27/2011 6:20:20 AM
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NASA can model, simulate, make, launch the Messenger satellite to orbit mercury after making it travel for more than 6 years and billions of miles . That disproves the uncertainty principle. Uncertainty of performance, uncertainty of quality etc is actually built by the product designer or implementer by overlooking some aspects. That 'let-go' thing is yhe root cause of all those uncertainties. In case of a mission like sending the satellite to Mercury such 'let-go' attitude is not tolerated and hence the project becomes successful.

pneu
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re: The uncertainty principle
pneu   3/27/2011 5:05:55 PM
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Back ups to back ups may not be a bad idea as long as that redundent back up does not rely on something that can or will fail in a catastrophic failure. Oh , about blow out preventers, didn't there instruments indicate there was an issue?

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